Reaffirming Beliefs

After a very rough couple of days I had a moment of personal epiphany waiting for a train at Union Square. It has been for the last few weeks that I find myself waiting for the L Train in the early afternoon after leaving the gym, and while I lean against my large metal column passing the time until my ride home arrives I am inevitable approached by the same shaved head, small pony tailed, orange toga wearing, tambourine playing, pamphlet distributing… gentleman. At first I was, as usual, polite yet dismissive, and yet as the days became weeks and his advances getting more aggressive trying to ply me with a poorly edited brochure, I reached a point where I snapped and asked him if he was blindly distributing his attack on education and logic. I instantly regretted my outburst, and attributed it to the swirling chaos of my life at the time. More and more I thought about it until I realized that although I do blatantly despise the pressure that these people force upon others to ‘awaken’ to their own religion, I also know that before I judge anything I should first attempt to understand it. This afternoon I was post-workout, apple in hand, waiting for the train when of course I was approached by our local Union Square Hare Karishna Ambassador. Being in a sour mood I was tempted to repeat my actions and send him packing, but fortunately I had sustenance in hand and time to kill. So instead of sending him on to the next cold dismissal I invited him to sit down and explain what exactly it was he was trying to accomplish and why I should tolerate his overly aggressive tactics. After hearing this man out it was quickly reaffirmed that I did not support or find logic in his personal gospel, but at least I knew that from fact rather than bias. In return I asked him to listen to my own views and prompted him about spending the time he was using up with handing out flyers and to instead go out and in the name of Hare Karishan volunteer his time with someone who was helping others. Rather than request that people listen to him without reason, lead by example and show people why the would want to be apart of his belief. He kindly listened to my retort, and then continued down the train path handing out booklets. Maybe tomorrow I will stop him again and repeat our interaction, it seems to me that might speak to him.

What did come from all of this is a reminder that I firmly believe to first write off something as wrong or at least disagreeable with your own personal views, you must know it. I now know one more thing about the world I am in, and although my beliefs on it did not change, at least I have a firm leg to stand on when asked why.

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Quick Update; Running

Wow, I have been absolutely terrible at keeping up with the blog over the last few months.  In order to show the world that we are in fact still alive, I thought I would type out a quick hello!  Shannon is going 7 days a week between work and school, but is very close to graduating from FCI.  I am distilling constantly, tending bar in between, and trying to get fit for our ultimate challenge.  In order to further my cause of not being stuck on the couch watching hulu/netflix and eating a constant stream of fine pastries I have made the executive decision of seeking out some fellow runners and enrolling myself in a running group again.  Hopefully with a group of people to run with again it won’t be so odd running through all of the concrete warehouses and abandoned streets of industrial Brooklyn alone.  Come August I should definitely be Warrior Dash ready.

Feel like going for a run?  Come find me.

More to come very very soon with actual content, but to cap off this brief update let me leave you with yet another subway musical performance:

 

Life’s Soundtrack, Episode 1

Now that I am living in Brooklyn I find myself using the trains quite a bit more.  From the gym, to the bars, to see Shannon, and anywhere and everywhere within the city the ‘L’ train is our life life to the city.  As my sister and I have often conversed about, it would be amazing to have an ambient omnipresent soundtrack that accurately depicted the mood and scene we were experiencing, and now we finally have a source for in the moment musical narration.  Most of the time when I take the train into the city I encounter some form of “performer” serenading me from the platform, and often in close quarters on the train itself, and most of the time they are… what you would expect.  Occasionally you will find yourself in a situation… mood… mind set… that lets you stumble upon a subterranean talent that ignites the scene.  I don’t know if it stems from actual musical talent or that it just happened to be just the right moment, but it all comes together to form a soundtrack for the New York Subway Life… which can be very… well it can be a very lot of things.   So I am going to start cataloging the good, bad, and otherwise indeifferent musical (and other) performances that I encounter on my journey between my island (Long Island) and the isle of Manhattan.  Here now for you are a few I have stored up on my phone over the past couple of months.

Awesome kind of country funk band… just a refreshing mix of kind of normal guitar and fun music:

Here is a crazy… Russian… eerie… kind of great… performance.  Happened to be a very dreary winter day, and as I sat very late at night down in this very dingy subway stop this guy was droning intense music through the whole subway station.  I was convinced some insane action flick was going to roll through the platform in slow motion… Think ‘In Bruges” (phenomenal movie if you haven’t seen it)

This guy had a keyboard and synthesizer, and man… was going to town.  My sister and I stumbled across him one night, and while we didn’t actually get a very good clip this gentleman actually sounded pretty amazingly good.  It may have been just how passionate he was, but I actually think this guy sounded pretty talented.  I wish we had recorder some better video of it.

Stay tuned for more Subway adventures… this was just a very very small taste of what emanates from down below… and now that I am on the prowl, I will hopefully be able to capture better and higher quality footage.  Signing Off, TW.

Visitors… an Introduction.

Addie and Margaret finally made it to the city!  These pictures chronicle their introduction to some of our favorite places.  Here is how it is going so far, in pictures:

Wandering up Broadway

Ost Cafe, Mid-Afternoon Rejuvenation.

Bein' Cool.

Marg Lost Among Chandeliers.

@ Common Ground.

Motley Crew @ Destination

Drawing Diagrams at Terroir

Subway